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17 lawmakers urge release of full Vikings investigation, call Priefer's suspension inadequate

Posted by: Abby Simons under Minnesota legislature Updated: July 25, 2014 - 6:44 PM

Seventeen state lawmakers urged Minnesota Vikings owner Zygi Wilf to release the result of a full investigation into homophobic remarks made by a coach while calling his three-game suspension too lenient.

The strongly-worded letter signed by DFL legislators in both the House and Senate say the remarks made by special teams coach Mike Priefer to "...round up all the gays, send them to an island and then nuke it until it glows" is "tantamount to calling for the genocide of all LBGT people."

Priefer admitted to the comments and apologized after a summary of the investigation was made public last week and the three-game suspension was issued.

"Donald Sterling's highly offensive bigoted remarks did not come close to calling for the destruction of an entire class of individuals," the letter said in reference to the former Los Angeles Clippers owner. "Even so, he was rightly banned by the NBA and forced to sell his basketball team. A three, possibly shortened to two, game suspension for Priefer is an underwhelming response. Imagine if Priefer had called forhte extermination of any other group of people--communities of color or religious minorities, for example. It is a safe bet that the rush to seep the whole subject under the rug would not be so fast."

Former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, whose claims about Priefer's comments triggered the investigation, has threatened to sue for more than $10 million because the team won't release the report, but has held off as negotiations continue.

In the letter, the legislators remind Wilf that taxpayers contributed nearly half a billion dollars to the new stadium currently under construction, as well as continuing a sales tax exemption on ticket sales to the 2018 Super Bowl.

"In light of this enormous public effort, it is imperative that your organization be held accountable," the letter reads. "This is especially true when it would seem that Vikings leadership is turning a blind eye to such egregious misconduct and seems determined to remain opaque to the very public which has invested so much in the success of your team."

In a statement, Vikings spokesman Jeff Anderson said the organization considers Priefer's suspension appropriate.

"The Vikings retained two highly-respected and experienced lawyers to conduct a thorough and independent investigation of the claims made by Chris Kluwe. The results of their exhaustive six month investigation were provided to a leading employment law firm for review." the staement said. "As a result of these findings, we have taken the appropriate actions to hold individuals accountable and to ensure we continue to have a workplace environment that respects tolerance, diversity and inclusion. We have addressed this matter completely and are unable to comment further due to pending litigation".

Read the full letter here.

Vikings Investigation Legislative Letter_2

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